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February 2010 mastectomy ladies

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Met with the surgeon again today and had to sign all the consent forms etc so it seems very real but I feel surprisingly calm. Like you this was a disease I knew nothing about and now I know to much. Yesterday was my last day at work and felt very emotional but just feel today that this is something I have to do in order to treat this s***** disease. hot sure how I will feel sunday night though...

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi All,
Met with surgeon and got pathology report... looks good, but with a slight concern.
IDC Grade 2 (T2, P3, M1) 30mm
No vascular invasion is seen
Nine left axillary lymph nodes negative for metastatic carcinoma (0/9)
ER and PR positive, H score 300/300 and a quick score of 8/8
Her2 negative

Based on that, and specifically Grade 2 - I cant understand why it would be marked as M1?
Will call surgeon on Monday and ask... just more waiting and worrying. Meet with oncologist on Friday, but dont think that I can wait until then. Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks!
Marguerite

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

It's definitely made me reassess what's important in life, and i've already become more chilled out about things. If people want to get worked up, push in at queues, rush around and have road rage - fine, let em. Me, I'll be the one taking a step back and rolling my eyes at them!

Had my dressings removed today and the district nurse says my scar is healing really well, I had another look but still not a great deal to see as it's covered in steri-strips - hopefully these should now start to fall off as they get drier. Back to clinic on Wednesday for results and treatment plan.

Love to all, and hope you have a comfy, relaxed weekend.

xxx

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

I so agree, this time last month the world was a different place, I wonder how this will change all of us?

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

What a difference a few weeks makes to our lives...
Barney - I hope your surgery went well and look forward to getting your post telling us that you are home.
Cat - Good luck for Monday, you are in my thoughts

Its quite surreal that come Monday, we will have all gone through the surgery and on to the next phase.
A month ago I didnt know anything about this disease. I hate that I now underdstand all the terminology, treatments etc

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi there
My drains taken out today by a nurse who was very nice but whose hands were shaking like anything... I got so concerned when she was picking away at the steri-strips!! But its wonderful to have lost those two tubes & bags. It does still hurt at the sites but I feel like the real healing can start now. Was given my prescription for Tamoxifen at same time so I could theoretically start that tonight. Scary thought - starting something that should finish in Feb 2015!!

Lyn I will PM you about the supplements I am taking - what I am doing is so 'not evidence based' that I wouldn't like anybody to be influenced by anything I mention.

Sorry you had a back seroma Tina - that must have hurt so much and made it very difficult to get comfortable. Hope you have some better nights from now on.
Cheers
Maggyx

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Surgeon and bc nurse kept referring to reconstructed breast as my "breast" got very upset about that really, it's not my breast, my breast is gone and instead I have a piece of shoulder&back sat on my chest which looks like a shark took a bite out of it!! Seroma drained off my back today and "looking forward" to chemo as soon as wound healed, 6xchemo three weeks apart, apart from the two known tumours the whole breast was found to be cancerous but no lymph nodes involved.
It's ten days post op and feeling quite tired by teatime really, glad when the kids are in bed!
Keep healingXXXX

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi - the pain seems to have eased again today, so I'm putting it down to the drain removal (it makes me feel better about it that way!). I'm now one week post op and doing well so far.

Marguerite - I've had a sneeky peak at my scar while the district nurse was dressing it yesterday and while it doesn't look pretty at the moment, I'm not too upset by my new shape, and I feel ready to have a good look once the dressing is fully removed. I now tell people that it's the same old me, just in a smaller package! (A bit like concentrated Daz!)

Meggy - hope you got your drains removed ok. I've been out for lunch today and it's been lovely to be able to potter around without them tagging along. Oh, and I feel exactly the same about seeing how big my stomach is - I think there'll have to be some serious sit-ups being done some time soon!

love to you all
Leah
xxxx

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi All,
Jbug - good news on the stage 1 and good you seem a bit brighter - despite being "wiped" today - I hate the port just as you do! Still flat for me, no expansion done at all as the wound isn't sufficiently healed.

Marguerite - I made a point of looking at mine very early on, in a "car crash tv " kind of way. I think it looks really bad particularly how distorted and its got large creases. I've had no expansions yet to the implant so I'm hoping it won't look so bad when it looks vaguely like a boob again. Any medical staff who've seen it so far are very impressed with how small and neat the scar is! All of which is kind of lost on me because I realise I'm focussing on the fact that its flat and distorted - not that the scar is "dead neat" Good luck with results tomorrow.

Maggy - hope you're well, as per other post which supplements? Dead keen to know.

Cat107 - Glad you've got a date but very scary nonetheless, good luck x

Fab forty - I hated having the drain removed, felt like it was being pulled from my toes. I think twinges are more to do with post op pain than the removal of the drain - probably just the time that co-incides.

Speak soon - kindest wishes to all.

Lynn

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hiya ladies!

Just having a quick catch up on you all, everything seems to be going well.

I had my histology results back last week and was told Stage 1, 20mm grade 2 and 11mm grade 2 (the 2nd one was only found because my diagnosis was on more than one cancer so they went back in and tested the tissue removed). I had a macromatastic amount in one of the sentinel nodes, hormone positive, HER2neg. I am having Chemo and have been referred to the marsden in Sutton as it is much closer to me. I was also told that I could either have surgery to remove all the other nodes, or have rads to them or just leave it. I have opted for rads and I can't bear anymore surgery at the moment.

I'm obviously very happy that it's Stage 1, caught it nice and early although it was starting to try and spread.

I am 3 weeks post bilat mx with expanders and thought I was getting much better, but think either I have rushed ahead too fast or coming down with something as feel awful and wiped out for last 2 days. My wounds are good apparently although I don't like looking at my breasts as they are such a funny shape. I go back on 15th March to see if I want any more fluid put into them. I have to say the thing that I find really annoying is the ports on the implants rightat the edge of my boobs under the arms, they poke into the skin and make me feel ill!!

Still having to get help taking tops off and getting my coat on, but otherwise everything else is getting there. Seroma has finally gone down so I can lay on my back in bed without that waterbed effect on my chest..yuk!

Paula xxxxxx

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi
I haven't had any recon so I just have the scars which I had to see when the district nurse changed the dressings. They do not look nice or neat but they are the new me so I guess I have to learn to love them. But its really wierd how the absence of breasts - the spaces where they used to be - some how make me feel as modest as I used to feel about exposing my breasts. And I have some of the sensations that I used to have when I had breasts. Its all deep psychological stuff probably - but it is alarming looking at bruised and swollen skin. But that would probably apply to any other bit of the body that had undergone surgery. One of the worst things for me is seeing how big my belly is !! I've not had a clear view downwards for about 34 years!!! Its such early days but I'm sure the more we look the better we can accommodate and adapt to the changes...
Have a good day.... my drains are coming out in 2 hours fingers crossed....

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi all,
I still havent been able to look at my breasts yet... surgery was on Saturday.
Did anyone else have this issue? Can anyone tell me what to expect?
I know that I need to do it sooner rather than later, if nothing else to monitor the healing, but just cant face it.
Marguerite

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Finally got a date for the mx and reconstruction, 1st March. Makes it all real and have to admit I'm not looking forward to it. I hadn't thought about drains etc. Sounds like I will have to pack an extra bag just for them! Got my pre op assessment on friday then its of we go. I was interested in supplements as well. What is recommended?

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

YAY!!! Got my drain taken out today, but it looks like I might have had an easy ride so far! Since the drain was removed I've had a lot more pain than up until now. I'm hoping that it's just because things have been disturbed while the drain was being taken out (I could feel it moving quite a way behind my scar) and that it will calm down again in a day or so - fingers crossed!

Did anyone else have similar pain following drain removal? Or maybe it's just that the numbness is now starting to fade and I'm getting twinges anyway??

Feeling a bit emotional today, as it was the funeral for one of our local soldiers who was killed in Afghanistan and the whole village turned out as the funeral procession went to the church. It was my first time out of the house since the op, but I just felt I had to go to show my respect to him.

x

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Meggy - interest only, what you taking? I'm doing co-enzyme Q10, vitamin D and Omega 3. Thinking of ordering LifeMel for chemo starting - but I hate honey with a passion so it may be a waste of £40. M.I.L very keen that i start on milk thistle to support the liver during chemo - haven't run any of this past an oncologist yet? you?

Lynn

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi Lyn - it was 12mm IDC grade 2, with wider 30mm area of intermediate grade DCIS (this will probably change after Mx since the 2 WLEs couldn't get clear margins). Lymph node clear, ER+ve (7/8). Since diagnosis I have overhauled diet, cut out a lot, and started taking a wierd assortment of supplements - I rattle like a pill bottle. We have entered a strange world - with even a language all of its own!!! Is there a funny side? Not sure I've found it yet.......
Cheers
Maggy

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Cheers Maggy - what is your expected pathology?, sorry don't know if I know it.

Lynn

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi Lyn
Sorry you're feeling gutted by the chemo decision - it must feel like you're lurching from one massive hit to another at the moment. Getting through surgery feels like a really big thing on its own! I'm hoping my pathology won't have changed too much as a result of Mx - however there is a worry that they might have found something else that changes my 'scores' which hadn't shown up on scans. Not sure when I'll get the results - going by my previous experiences it could be weeks....!
Hope your Mx healings are progressing well 4 weeks down the line. How is your range of arm movement now? I'm finding the most difficult things is reaching stuff off the shelves!
All the best
Maggy

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi Ladies, Good luck to all of you post surgery and awaiting results - for what its worth, i can agree on all the rubber band /clamp tightness, twinges, numbness and pain. You might remember i'm just a few weeks further - 4 wks post op tomorrow. If you're anything like me, now that surgery is out of the way you'll be starting to fixate on results and treatment plans. I hope all are good for you. (I can see a new thread coming on soon.) Can i go first with a "sharing" on results and treatment plans.?

28/01 left MX, 17mm tumour, ER+ Grade 3, no lymph node involvement, no spread in the breast - still awaiting HER2 result - preliminary negative.

Treatment plan - AC chemo, 4 cycles over 3months, tamoxifen - decision still to be taken on Rads.

I was pretty gutted yesterday, hoping to avoid chemo as I know others with a similar pathology haven't had it but onco was quite insistent on the benefits because of my age (46 - pre menopausal )

Good wishes and hugs to everyone else - take it easy.

Lynn

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi Marguerite
Glad you're home safely and you're drainless too - a state I envy you for! My 2 drains are due to come out tomorrow - I'm hoping for a transformation in my pain levels after that but I guess it will take time. Yes I'm also having all sorts of strange twinges, numbness, and sensations which I've never had before. Also a feeling like I have a tight rubber band round my chest. I know all of this should settle after some weeks/months/years!!! It is great to be moving on - it's an awful waiting game before surgery so my sympathies are still with everybody facing it over the next few weeks.

Hope you are feeling less like a car crash Tina45!! I'm sorry that you're sore back and front - and probably sides as well..
cheers
Maggy x

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi ladies,
Had surgery Saturday evening and home last night.
It was a therapeutic mammoplasty on the BC breast and a reduction on the other. Apparently all went well, although I have not yet had the courage to look.
My first drain came out on Monday (from the good side) and the other two yesterday.
Have a small twinge where the drains were, and bleeding a bit around both boobs.
Apart from that no real pain as such, just a really strange sensation being 'hoisted' up in the post surgery bra. Follow up appointment on Friday for results of margins and lymph nodes.
Marguerite

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

I was told that 7 days is max for drains due to infection risk, with me they took the suction bottle ones off one every day over three days and replaced it with a stick on bag one. I always go to bed with full allowance of painkillers, the back is sore from the flap and front isn't too comfy either..... All looking a lovely shade of green&yellow and black, looks like I have been in a car crash......weirdest of all is the arm pain, I expect that will take a while to right itself. Never thought I would appreciate my lymph nodes so much now, I suppose its a case of you dont know what you've got until its gone!!

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Thank you Lynn - that's cheered me up! Hope things are easing up for you ....
Cheers
Maggy

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi Meggy - I had a similar worry that the drain may not get removed but the surgeon told me they have a balancing act in that they really don't like to leave drains in any longer than necessary as it can increase the chance of infection. 50ml was certainly the figure quoted to me as the green light. Hope you get them out.

Lynnx

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Sounds like you're doing really well FabForty! My drains are still each producing about 50ml over 24 hrs. They are due to be taken out on Thursday but District Nurse warned of slight possibility they might not (not sure I could bear that!!). Hope you're finding a comfortable position to sleep in...
Cheers xx

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi ladies, glad to hear we're all back in the comfort of our own homes. The hospitals do a fantastic job, but there's nothing like the comfort of your own bed is there? So how are you all doing?
I still have my drain in but looks like it will be taken out tomorrow as it's down to just 30ml a day now. It will be nice to be able to wander around without "my shopping" as I call it!
My next appointment is on 3rd March for results of the op, and treatment plan.
Take care, & keep rested xxxx

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Got my kids ready for school, PE bags, lunchboxes etc, stacked dishwasher and then had to sit down, feeling a bit spaced out! Glad last week is over, everyone at hospital was so nice and helpful but I was tired, like you said there is no sleep as it is so busy! Loved being in my own bed last night! Take it easy everyone. xxx

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Glad you're home Tina45 - its amazing what can happen in a week. Hope you were comfortable in hospital - I was only in one night and only slept in snatches as it was so noisy and busy. I was on a day case ward as a 23 hour admission!! Hope your recovery continues well at home - its nice being back with family but there's always a temptation to do too much. I tried to fill the washing machine this morning and had to give up...!
Cheers xx

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Yipee, back home!!! Had right side mx, full lymph node clearance and ld flap reconstruction on the 15th! Came home yesterday! One drain of three still in my back. Lost a lot of blood and fluids through op and drains and had a faint couple of days ago so had to stay in longer than anticipated, back on Thursday 25th to remove 27 staples on my front (not looking forward to that one!). Can confirm the pins&needles and numbness under arm. Also, where my new boob is my former back muscle, it twitches when I reach or lift my arm, quite funny really.......Staples on my back out next week.
Doing my exercises and eating healthy diet. Having paracetamol and using V shaped cushion to get comfy in bed.
My drains were really long, too. Was advised to take a large strong cardboard gift bag with me to carry them around and hide them from the kids. That worked well for me.
Best Wishes for all of us recovering, keep smiling!!xxx

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi Meggy - sounds like you're doing remarkably well for only 5 days post op. I'm coming up on 4 weeks post op and can confirm I had the tightness on the chest - but no pins and needles. Most of my residual pain comes from the expander implant - really unpleasant but not unbearable. Wish you all the best for your continued recovery and treatment.

Lynnx

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi there
Hope all you newly post op ladies are doing well and that those of you facing surgery this week (or the next few weeks) are holding tight and not worrying too much. Easier said than done! I'm just getting into 5th day post bilat Mx. Worst thing still is pain from drain sites, and not getting comfortable in bed for sleeping. But its not overwhelming. Noticing quite an unusual & unanticipated band of tightness round my chest - really weird feeling - coupled with numbness & pins & needles. Still taking painkillers but not on them all the time. However its a huge relief to have got this far - once the drains are out and I know the pathology of what they took this time (this was 3rd op) I think it will be manageable. I don't know whether my drains are exceptioanlly long but they certainly dangle down to mid calf & when I pack them into the little shoulder bags supplied by the physio, they then stick out hugely - nothing discrete about this at all!! I haven't ventured out yet.....
Best wishes for feeling better and lovely spring days ahead
Maggyx

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

I am due to have a mx and full lymph node clearance and an immediate reconstruction, haven't got a date yet as they are fully booked for the next 6 wks but my bc nurse is trying to get me in much sooner. It will be great to buddy up with others going through this as I feel quite scared now. Before I was worried about scans etc but now I have got the all clear I'm worried about the surgery!
catrina

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Just wanted to say hello and glad that you are home to Meggy and FabForty and all the best to oscarbailey who I think should have had her op today.

Mine is on Wednesday, going in Tuesday evening at 4 so hopefully will be back home and on here next weekend.

Hope you all continue to do well.
Beverley

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi ladies, I had my op on Thursday afternoon and was sent home on Friday lunchtime as I felt fine. They removed my left breast and two lymph nodes. I still have a drain in (YUK!) and the district nurse came today to check and change my dressings, and will continue for the next week or until the drain can come out.

Pain-wise it's not too bad, just a bit achey when I move (like the feeling you get if you've had a good work out at the gym when you've not been for a while!), and I'm not using any painkillers except a couple of paracetamol before bedtime just to help me through the night.

I'm hoping it won't get any worse, but who knows what will happen, when the bruises start appearing! But then I've got stronger painkillers if needed.

Family and friends are being fantastic and I'm just resting as much as possible and doing my exercises as ordered by the physio.

Going back to the breast clinic on 3rd March for results and details of next treatment.

Good luck & loving thoughts to all of you going through this at the mo, lets all take it one step at a time and we'll be better before we know it xxx

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Great that you are home safe and sound Maggy... and thank you for the heads up re the tubes, hadnt realised that you go home with them!
Take care.
I get my op tomorrow and hoping that I will be home on Monday.
Marguerite

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hello welshgirl,

Yes it is normal to feel the way you do. I had a mastectomy, nodes taken,and immed recon with implant.

Rest as much as possible and continue to do your exercises that is very important, your body as gone through a trauma and it will take time but in a couple of weeks you should feel so much better, all the best ann x

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi to those others just been done and good luck to those just about to go through it. I'm back home after one (sleepless) night in hospital. Ops went as expected. Worst thing is pain at drain sites and knowing how to cope with these great long tubes hanging down either side!!! Which look so gross!!! Ah well.....! District nurse was due to come today to check on me but can't come due to blanket of snow & ice over us again.
Keep warm & take care
Maggyx

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi Welsh girl,

I had MX almost 3 weeks ago and can confirm all symptoms you describe. I am starting to feel slightly better but only in the last couple of days. Hang on in there, I hope you start to feel better soon.

Kind Regards

Lynn

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

I'm really sorry to hijack this site but I've had my mastectomy 2 weeks ago and I feel so feeble that I can't work out how to post a new question! Sorry!

I just wanted to ask is it normal to have a dead chest and a very uncomfortable area where they took the lymph nodes with an arm that is a dead weight! Thoroughly dependent upon painkillers and Ibroprufen and feeling pretty rubbish! I do so little and yet feel totally exhausted...

I've had two lumpectomies to compare with in last seven months so thought recovery would be similar...
Oh dear, this is not what I expected and no one (surgeon or BCN) nurse warned me... Can anyone advise or provide any reassurance?

PS I am doing my exercises very gingerly...

Welsh girl

PS I sincerely hope I'm not frightening anyone due for mx in next few weeks, but I probably am! I am so very sorry to disrupt this site.

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi barneyb

Welcome to the BCC forums.

I have posted a link below to our new resource pack which you may find helpful, it has been designed for those newly diagnosed, just click on the link to access the order form. You can also order more information publications on the same page by clicking on the links on the same page under the 'quick order list'.

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/healthcare-professionals/publications/quick-order-list/*/changeTe...

If you would like to speak to someone in confidence please do call our helpline on 0808 800 6000, the line is open weekdays 9-5 and Sat 9-2, our team of specialist nurses and trained helpliners can offer you further support and information. Hope this helps.

Best wishes
Lucy

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Thank you meggy for your good wishes.

Had an appointment at the hospital today and discussed what is happening, I'm having left mx with immediate reconstruction and SNB. Signed the consent form and it all suddenly feels very real and quite scary now.

Good luck to the ladies having their ops this week, will be thinking of you all.

Beverley x

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

I love my boobs too. They are such a special part of a woman's body - i've been in floods of tears today just mourning them in advance!!! I feel like writing them a poem to celebrate all they've done - all the enjoyment & nurturing... etc etc. Its going to be hard to get used to the new me.. more hard work....

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

My surgery is on the 20th...good luck to all of us. Personally I love my boobs so finding this terrifying and just sad all the time.

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

My surgery is on the 20th...good luck to all of us. Personally I love my boobs so finding this terrifying and just sad all the time.

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi Barneyb - sorry you're facing this too. I can guess how thwarted you feel having to wait another two weeks for treatment to start. Good luck with the wait & the op - I'll be happy to answer any questions you have after this week, when mine has been done...
love
Maggyx

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Hi this is my first time posting. I'm due to have a mastectomy on 24 February and would love to also buddy up and share your journey if I can.

I was due to have a WLE on 10 February but after MRI scan they found the lump to be slightly bigger and DCIS and said a mastectomy would be better. The waiting has been terrible as I had got myself all prepared for the op on the 10th and then everything changed. I have a really supportive family and friends and know these next few months are going to be tough but would like to wish the other ladies all the best for their ops this week.

Thinking of you.
xx

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Meggy, Tina and Fab Forty
Good luck to you all. I hope your ops go well and you recover quickly. I had a mx last June for widespread DCIS. It wasn't fun at the time and I went through a range of emotions, but I now feel very well and lead an active life. Your ops will soon be over and you will be on the road to recovery.
Paula - I hope you are recovering well.
I will be thinking of you all.
Liz

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Good luck everyone, I had mine 1.5 weeks ago on 3rd feb. Had a double mastectomy and temporary implants and sentinel node biopsy. It's not going to be easy, I'm still very much recovering, but just got to grin and bear it for the next few weeks.

Good luck again.

Paula xx

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Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Good luck to all of us this week!! xxxxx

Re: February 2010 mastectomy ladies

Good luck to everybody this week - just think ... this time next Sunday it will be over (although we will probably be very sore). And thanks Clare/RhodaBee for your well-wishing - it is good to be reminded that its going to be so different 6 months down the line.
Sometimes you just can't see past the op date...
love
Maggyxx